Funding sought for Woodville Rd. safety upgrades in Northwood

Kelly J. Kaczala

         The City of Northwood is seeking funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to help pay for proposed safety improvements on the Woodville Road corridor, from Norcross Drive southeastward to Williston Road (St. Rte. 579).
        “We are going to present our grant request to ODOT in October,” said Glenn Grisdale, an economic consultant for Northwood.
        The city had embarked on a safety study on the Woodville Road corridor due to a high rate of traffic crashes, he said. The study was completed in August, 2019. Since then, the public was given the opportunity to provide comments on the project, and there was a feasibility study to further examine a proposed roundabout at Woodville and Lemoyne roads.
        “We thought it would be a good area to study and figure out what kind of crashes there were,” he said.
Study results
        The city hired the Mannik & Smith Group to conduct the study. It found the following:
        • There was a total of 183 crashes on the corridor, 50 of which involved injuries or were fatal. The number accounts for 27.3 percent of all injury/fatal crashes, higher than the statewide average of 26.5 percent on similar roadways;
        •The types of crashes on the corridor that involved higher than statewide averages of similar roadways were rear-end crashes, left turn crashes, overturning crashes, and pedestrian crashes;
        •Over a two-year period, there were four pedestrian and two bike related crashes on the corridor that led to one fatality and four injuries.
        In addition to the crashes with higher injury and fatality occurrences than the statewide averages, the study identified:
        •Skewed intersection alignments and curved section issues contributing to higher crash frequencies;
        •Lack of continuous sidewalks on the corridor that experienced four pedestrian and two bicycle crashes over a two year period.
        As a result of the study, the following improvements in the Woodville Road corridor are being proposed:
        •Full signal upgrade at Woodville Road and Wheeling Street;
        •Full signal upgrade at Wheeling Street and Curtice Road;
        •Improve signal timing/phasing at I-280 interchange;
        •Roundabout at Woodville Road and Lemoyne Road;
        •Lane reconfiguration of Williston Road to provide multi-use path;
        •Add pedestrian signals/pushbuttons at Woodville Road and Williston Road;
        •Crosswalk enhancements, sidewalk gap coverage, and ADA ramps throughout the corridor.
Safety Program
        Once the study is done, ODOT has funds available in its Safety Program distributed to communities to adopt countermeasures to make it safe for pedestrians, said Grisdale.
        “The corridor is ranked fourth on a high crash list in the TMACOG region outside Lucas County,” he said.
        A second study looked more closely at the proposed roundabout, said Grisdale. “ODOT wanted to study the roundabout even further. They wanted to make sure if the roundabout goes in, it won’t backup traffic onto I-280,” he said.
        “They want us to present it to them in October to get funding for the project, which will cost a total of $4.7 million,” he added.  “If ODOT likes the project, which we think they will since they funded the second phase of our study, they will fund it at 90 percent. They can choose to fund the complete project, or a portion of it,” he said.
        The city is also preparing to apply to TMACOG for its Congestion Management Air Quality (CMAQ) Program.
        “They will pay a municipality to do roundabouts at intersections where there is a lot of traffic sitting idle because it’s bad for air quality. If we get that program funding, it will help to reduce the city’s commitment to the overall project. The application is due July 31. We’re working on that right now. Right now, we are on the hook to pay 10 percent of the $4.7 million, or $470,000. If TMACOG funds it, it may make our commitment just a $200,000.”
        If funding goes through, the project is scheduled to start on April 1, 2025, and completed Oct. 31, 2025.


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